A3 - Expanding the druggable chemical space for high hanging fruits – bigger numbers, larger molecules, tougher targets

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Eric Marsault (Institut de Pharmacologie de Sherbrooke, University of Sherbrooke, Canada) and Takuya Kumamoto (Hiroshima University, Japan)


Current drug discovery is facing several challenges that force scientists to explore previously unchartered territories in terms of chemical space. Emerging targets such as intracellular protein-protein interactions challenge the abilities of small molecules and push medicinal chemists toward the use of larger molecules, including peptides and macrocycles, which require a re-thinking of performance criteria toward novel drugs. On the other hand, biotherapies with ever larger entities such as antibodies, proteins and even cells are increasingly prevalent.

As a result, the chemical space, playground of medicinal chemists, has expanded significantly yet rules of navigation in this new unchartered chemical space need to be determined.



Large scale docking en route toward the first billion-compound virtual library
Brian Shoichet (University of California San Francisco, USA)

Macrocycles as Protein-Protein Interaction Inhibitors
Dehua Pei (Ohio State, USA)

How Macrocycles and Other Beyond Rule of 5 Drugs Reach Difficult Targets
Jan Kihlberg (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Artificial in vitro biosynthesis for elaboration of pseudo-natural peptides
Yuki Goto (University of Tokyo, Japan)


Learning Objectives

  1. To understand the needs of emerging difficult targets such as protein-protein interactions
  2. To be familiar with the tools available to design, synthesize and evaluate molecules in this expanded chemical space
  3. To understand emerging technologies in this area to maximize numbers, throughput, and compound profile for difficult targets